A version of this blog originally appeared on Chemistry Matters, the official blog of the American Chemistry Council.
On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the President signed into law the “Save Our Seas Act of 2018” (S. 3508). Passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and House, this important bipartisan legislation reinvigorates existing programs and includes language recognizing the need to address the lack of waste management systems in developing countries.
Among other provisions, the Save Our Seas Act:
2. Supports studies on how solid waste enters the ocean, the effectiveness of waste management infrastructure to prevent marine debris, the economic impacts of marine debris, and the benefits of reducing marine debris
We All Want a Clean Ocean
Legislation is one part of the answer. America’s Plastics Makers® are working with governments, NGOs, and the private sector to deliver sustainable solutions to marine debris. In the United States, we work alongside scientists and policymakers to increase litter prevention, reducing, reusing and recycling, and other waste management infrastructure solutions. Through our “Global Declaration,” 75 plastics associations from 40 countries have launched 355 projects that address education, research, public policy, best practices, plastics recycling/recovery, and plastic pellet containment.
In May, America’s plastic resin makers announced an ambitious goal: to recycle or recover all plastic packaging in the United States by 2040. Achieving a more circular economy for plastics will enable society to continue to harness plastics’ essential benefits, like enhancing the safety and sanitary packaging of food and personal care products, while helping to protect and restore the environment for future generations.
We will continue to work with packaging makers and others in the consumer product value chain to design ever more recyclable packaging. While we strive to maximize mechanical recycling, we are also working on innovative new ways to reuse, recycle, and recover all plastic packaging after they’ve delivered outstanding performance attributes.
Now is a time of remarkable innovation throughout our industry. We can all play a role in keeping valuable plastics out of the environment. Have you thought about what you will do? Please follow us on Twitter @ForCleanOceans to stay up to date on our marine litter news.